Welcome one and welcome all to New Music Dublin 2022.

It’s so good to see you!


I very well remember just after the end of the last live, in-person festival in March 2020,

standing at the bus stop on what was the day of the first confirmed Covid case in Ireland,

wondering how long it would be before we were all together again:

a few months at most, I reckoned. Certainly not later than the 2021 Festival?

And yet … here we all are, 2 years and one fully-digital 2021 lockdown New Music Dublin

later - finally together, Back in the Room. I’m not feeling the need to add to the screeds

and reams that have been written and will be written about the pandemic;

suffice to say, I suspect very few of us right now are able to say exactly

how we feel about what just happened to us for the past 2 years.


Which is probably the perfect state to be in for coming to this smorgasbord of a festival! Here you will find musical expression for a vast array of emotional states: joy, elation, confusion, melancholy, nostalgia, awe, contentment, despair, exasperation, bliss, relief, rapture, dismay, tenderness - and many others we don’t really have words for, often all at the same time, and often all piled one on top of the other.


You’ll also find an increasing variety and diversity of people writing and performing the music that you hear. This festival we are delighted to include world premieres by young composers for young performers in the Cór na nÓg and Cór Linn programme, thrilling new work from emerging under-represented voices in the NCH Creative Lab project, new work by and for young musicians in BrassFest, new work with sign language in George Higgs’ ground-breaking new performance, and the up-and-coming compositional voices represented by the Irish Composers’ Collective. Add to this work by a whole raft of Ireland’s most garlanded, radical and highly-regarded professional composers and music creators, and - well - there’s something by everyone, not just for everyone!


Our hope is that somewhere in amongst the 39 world premieres, 10 Irish premieres, multiple repeat listens and everything else that is going on in the 25 concerts this weekend, there are likely to be expressions for many things you have been feeling recently. Whether it’s something massive and orchestral, or something choral, or something played by a solo musician, or something heard via a hidden loudspeaker somewhere, it may catch you unawares, just like that - and remind you, that although we have all been desperately separated from each other these past two years, someone somewhere, maybe quite a lot like you, also felt what you were going through back there. Although we went through it all by ourselves, we also, in no small measure, went through it all together.


And here we all are! Welcome back!!


John Harris

Festival Director

New Music Dublin is made possible through a huge collaborative effort. In making this festival, we wish to thank:

Everyone in every department at the Arts Council / National Concert Hall / National Symphony Orchestra /  RTÉ Concert Orchestra / RTÉ lyric fm / RTÉ Radio 1 / RTÉ Culture / Contemporary Music Centre / Derek O'Connor / Oslo Sinfonietta / Ensemble Interforma / Crash Ensemble / Tonnta / Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble / Irish Composers Collective / Cór na nÓg and Cór Linn / Andy Duncan / Lesley Bishop / Siân Cunningham / Chamber Choir Ireland / Evonne Ferguson / Linda O'Shea Farren / Robert Read / Kevin Free / Nathan Sherman / Majella Hollywood / Mary Sexton / Joe Csibi / Anthony Long / Aisling Coyle / Ciara Cuffe / Gary Sheehan / David Collins / John Wallace / Ciara Higgins / Cathy Stokes / Rosemary Collier / Christiaan Feehan / Mary Heffernan and the OPW / Joanne Taaffe / Rosita Wolfe / John O’Kane / Jennifer Phillips / Catherine Kirby / Garrett Sholdice / Benedict Schlepper-Connelly / Diatribe Records / Caroline Feehily / Greg Caffrey / Paul Hunt / Kieran Tobin / Karlin Lillington / Eoin O'Dell / Gaby Smith / Patricia Flynn / All the composers / All the performers / All the technicians / and everyone else who has made this festival possible.


We thank you and salute you!

Image of John Harris, festival director of New Music Dublin